Woodlane Community Church
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Good News - December 2017

 

Get Ready!

            “People get ready, Jesus is coming!” Crystal Lewis sings in her song by the same name. The phrase holds more truth in this upcoming season than any other part of the year (at least on the surface of things). Advent is a time of getting ready, of anticipating, of prepping ourselves to celebrate the day God put skin on.

            One Christian tradition that often accompanies this anticipation is the lighting of the Advent Wreath (for us, the wreath in front of the pulpit). We build it into the service…consider it ‘lighting the Christ candle’ and ‘call to worship’ rolled together…but like any other tradition or norm, it can quickly fade into routine. Remember our lesson from a few weeks ago about worship that becomes rote or routine? God says, “No, thank you!”

            So it’s worth remembering what this wreath-and-fire call to worship symbolizes. This description comes from the Worship Sourcebook, a go-to handbook for RCA pastors and worship leaders.

 "The lighting of Advent candles dramatically depicts the growing expectation we have for the coming of Christ, the light of the world. This action most often functions as a call to worship, but it can also function as a response to the assurance of pardon or to the sermon. The traditional Advent wreath has four purple candles (lit on the four Sundays of Advent) grouped around a white Christ candle (lit on Christmas Day).

The main symbolism portrayed by the wreath is the growing intensity of light as the candle lighting includes an additional candle each worship day and as anticipation builds for the celebration of Christ’s second coming. Some congregations attribute particular meaning to individual candles, associating them with peace, joy, love, and light; with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Magi; or with other related aspects of Christ’s coming. These associations may be helpful for a congregation at a particular time, but they are not in any way necessary to a worshipful celebration.

Similarly, a tradition calling for the third candle to be pink is not especially important. It is based on a medieval tradition in which the second to last Sunday of Advent (and Lent) accented Christian joy in the middle of a penitential season." (The Worship Sourcebook, pp. 432-433)

 As the anticipation for Christmas builds, we are going to camp out in the book of Micah, a prophet whose name means “Who Is Like God?” (hence the name of the series). Though his words to Israel and Judah may not feel very “Christmas-y”, they will help set up the reasons Christmas came to be.

Time to get ready!

Blessings,

Pastor Brian

 

 


 

 

Sermon Archive

Click here to see our current series

First Things FirstThanksgivingPsalm 50:1-15, 23
Lead By The HeadChrist the King SundayEphesians 1:15–23
     
Matter-ingTGI Monday (1/6)Matthew 28:1-10
God's SuperhighwayTGI Monday (2/6)Matthew 22:34-40
As Is, Just AsTGI Monday (3/6)Luke 19:1-10
Authentic LivingTGI Monday (4/6)Genesis 1-2
How Not To Be A Christian At WorkTGI Monday (5/6)1 Peter 3:13-16
Kingdom PlatformTGI Monday (6/6)Colossians 3:12-25
       
Remembering Your First LoveSeeking God (1/10)Hosea 10, 11, 14
Grabbing a SliceSeeking God (2/10)1 Chronicles 12, 16, John 13
The Truth About The TruthSeeking God (3/10)1 John 1:5-10
No MoreSeeking God (4/10)John 8:2-11
God's GlueSeeking God (5/10)Ephesians 2:1-9
Getting ReadySeeking God (6/10)1 Peter 1:13-21
Love's Acid TestSeeking God (7/10)John 14:15-24
We're GoodSeeking God (8/10)1 John 4:5-21
A Prisoner FreedSeeking God (9/10)Matthew 18:21-35
Light PowerSeeking God (10/10)Galatians 5:16-26
     
Promise KeeperRefuel (1/5)John 14:18-31
John 16:4-15
Cosmic MathRefuel (2/5)Mark 1:1-11
Fruity LivingRefuel (3/5)Galatians 5:16-26
Step OneRefuel (4/5)John 3:1-16
Set ApartRefuel (5/5)Romans 8:1-11
     
Fear Not Unshakeable (1/6)Matthew 28:1-10
On Your FeetUnshakeable (2/6)John 21:1-19
I Have This Hope
     song video
Unshakeable (3/6)1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Most Perfect Imperfect PrayerUnshakeable (4/6)Mark 9:14-29
God's Job DescriptionUnshakeable (5/6)Exodus 3:1-15
Confidence In The ChaosUnshakeable (6/6)John 16:25-33
     
Looking ForwardTough Questions (1/5)John 1:35-42
Stuck In The Ivory TowersTough Questions (2/5)John 3:1-15
I Didn't Sign Up For ThisTough Questions (3/5)John 6:60-71
Best IntentionsTough Questions (4/5)John 13:31-38
I AmTough Questions (5/5)John 18:1-11
     
Demo DayLinked (1/4)Ephesians 2:11-22
Greater Than The SumLinked (2/4)Psalm 100
More Than A PotluckLinked (3/4)Matthew 25:31-46
Here I Am Linked (4/4)James 5:13-20

Going Deeper

These questions and actions are designed to help you find ways to take Sunday’s Scripture out into the world as the hands and feet of Christ. 

Making You Think

·         Do the rich in our society get special treatment? Are the poor overlooked? How about in our churches?

·         Compare James 3:1 and Micah 3:1 – Why should teachers or leaders be judged more strictly? Is this a fair idea?

·         It’s alarming to see them so confident before God, yet so terribly wrong. Have you encountered people like this before?

 

Memory Verse

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.

- Micah 7:8 (NRSV)

Next Steps

“Can you call God your God this morning? Is there an unshakable solidarity between you and him? This is not inherited. It is chosen by an act of forsaking all other gods and swearing allegiance to the one true God, the Father of Jesus Christ. Choose this day whom you shall serve, says the prophet. Let him break you. Let him bless you. Let him make you bold.” – John Piper

 

Good News Archive
Good News - Nov 2017
Good News - Oct 2017
Good News - Sept 2017
Good News - August 2017
Good News - July 2017
Good News - June 2017
Good News - May 2017
Good News - April 2017
Good News - March 2017







Resources

RCA - our denominational site
GotQuestions - great apologetics site

Bible Gateway - online Bibles
Blue Letter Bible - online Bibles + commentaries
Bible Hub - online Bibles + commentaries

OnePlace - audio sermons

Logos - Pastor Brian's choice of Bible software
e-sword - free Bible software






5694 Woodlane Newark NY 14513              Phone: (315) 331-4903              E-mail: office@woodlanechurch.org